Iran with Nuclear Weapons: Anticipating the Consequences for U.S. Policy

By Berman, Ilan | Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2010 | Go to article overview

Iran with Nuclear Weapons: Anticipating the Consequences for U.S. Policy


Berman, Ilan, Middle East Quarterly


Iran with Nuclear Weapons: Anticipating the Consequences for U.S. Policy. By Jacquelyn K. Davis and Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr. Cambridge: Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, 2008. Ill pp. Free download.

Iran with Nuclear Weapons is an indispensable contribution to the discussion that should be taking place about Tehran's nuclear program and its logical endpoint: What might happen following the acquisition of an offensive nuclear capability by Iran, and how is the Iranian regime likely to behave as a result?

Through the use of three distinct behavioral models, Davis and Pfaltzgraff - respectively the executive vice president and president of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis - analyze how an Iran with nuclear weapons is likely to behave under adverse internal conditions (such as those that have prevailed since the country's fraudulent elections in June 2009); how a consolidated regime in Tehran might wield its nuclear deterrent; and how such an entity would weather external challenges to its regional position. What emerges is a sophisticated analysis predicated upon the idea of "alternative futures" - the understanding that Iran's behavior can and will be shaped in a number of different directions by the confluence of domestic and international drivers.

Through their meticulous, well researched, and logically reasoned analysis, Davis and Pfaltzgraff methodically map out a range of conceivable scenarios involving a nuclear, or nuclearready, Iran. …

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